Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Monthly Meanderings - April 2020 No.2

Easter fell in early April, so it meant a lovely long weekend without work. I don't know about the rest of the world but here in the UK the weather was utterly glorious (there has been many a meme about the UK weather and 'Lockdown') it seems that since we put the pause button on daily life, it has been endlessly sunny!

~ Easter Excavations & Sewing Solutions ~
So with the glorious weather lasting through Easter, it meant the chance to get out in the garden as much as possible. Whilst doing this Benn stumbled upon some interesting things beneath the soil, so that unexpected revelation had to an endeavour to find more, which ended up taking a lot of the weekend and though it was an unplanned way to spend the weekend it wasn't an unwelcome one!

Only 18 meters to go // Nosy neighbour // Treasure beneath the soil
Excavations commence // Scrub Sewing begins in earnest!
I had also got my sights set only own endeavour, which was to get behind the National effort from sewers to help the NHS by making scrubs. I joined For the love of Scrubs Facebook group and set about trying to elevate my feeling of despair by focusing my mind on something productive.

Take care & stay safe.
Wendy x

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Monthly Meanderings - April 2020 No.1

So April, seemed indeterminately long and at the same time to have whizzed by in a flash, being 'locked down' meant most days not at work were spent at home, which if I am really honest with myself isn't very much different from my 'old normal' anyway.

~ Blomin' Old Boxes of Seed & Bird Table Building ~
Allotment Planting Plans 2020

So what a year to pick start getting your gardening & veg growing mojo back! Me and one million others, which is wonderful, everyone should be able to enjoy the thrill of growing something, however with a limited supply it meant that a lot of us had to reflect on what we already had (my eco head is really happy about that, to be fair) before we could look forward to anything new.
Rhubarb, glorious Rhubarb! // Blooming old box of seeds // Benn Bird house building
Beetroot planting // Evening gardening

So as you might of guessed from my title, this episode includes, a very old box of seeds, Benn building a bird table, me deliberating over what to plant sandlots and lots of planting, oh and some very, very embarrassing'll see!

Take care & stay safe!
Wendy x

Monday, 4 May 2020

May The Fourth Be With You!

Happy Star Wars Day! 

In honour of today I have just re-watched The Mandalorianhow good is that show!? it has got to have been one of my favourites shows of 2019, along with Good Omens...oh and His Dark Materials, that was a corker! Anyway, I digress, as soon as I saw 'The Child' I was, like most of the internet, hooked! How flipping cute, and mischievous and such a great start to the series!

Please note, if you make this little tike, you gotta keep both eyes on him at all times, it's not only Mudhorns that he likes to play with!

As much as I was in love with 'The Child' my knitting of this pattern actually happened by chance, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a crochet version of the infamous 'Tiger King' (see it here) and jokingly suggested to my friend and colleague Steve, that I could make him one, as it was a show he had been enjoying (like most people it seems, me not so much) and I had lots of time on my hands due to being furloughed, he countered with this Baby Yoda pattern, and to be honest it was a pattern I was much more keen to actually knit, and so I ordered some yarn and got going!

~ The Child ~
Baby Yoda created and kindly shared by Kim Konen

Worsted weight Cascade 220 in - Antiqued Heather
Worsted weight Cascade 220 - Pesto

Careful, the force is strong with this one!
I have made a few little changes to the original pattern to make it a little more realistic to the version in the show, please don't see this as a criticism in any way of Kim's pattern, its just that I had plenty of time to tinker, partly because I could and partly because I was using yarn that was quite different in thickness and behaviour to that used in the original pattern.

Knit the body as pattern instructs.

Knit Ears as pattern instructs.

Only thing I did differently was to weave floristry wire through the outer edges of the ears to add structure to my floppy yarn - this means its is not suitable for children.

Knit in green only, following what the pattern instructs for the measurements.

Instead of rolling the arms up, I seamed them along the hand and up the long edge and stuffed them with stuffing, before attaching them to the body - Wait until you have sewn the cloak before attaching the arms as you can use the cloaks holes as a placement guide.

Sew three knots on the ends of the arms, to create a hand - I did this by oversewing in one area a few times and then securing, then threading the loose end of the thread into the body to hide.

This is where I varied from the pattern the most, work as follows.

On 5mm Needles Cast on 42 stitches.
Row 1: Slip 1, knit to end
Row 2: Slip 1, knit to end
Row 3: Slip 1, purl to end.
Repeat rows 2 & 3 (essentially stocking stitch) until work measures 3 inches ending on a purl row.

We now need to make some arm holes in the shawl, this is super easy to do
Next row: Knit 10 stitches, bind off 2 stitches, continue knitting until you are 12 stitches from the end of the row, bind off 2 stitches and then knit to the end.
Next row : Purl 10, wrap yarn around needle twice to create 2 stitches, continue until next hole and wrap yarn around the needle twice, purl to end.

Continue in Stocking stick for another 2 inches.
Bind off.

SLEEVES (make 2)
Cast on 12 stitches.
Work in stocking stick for 2 inches, ending on a purl row.
Next row: Slip 1, inc 1, knit 4, inc 1,
Continue in sticking stitch for another 1.5 inches.
Bind off.
Sew the sleeves together along the longest edge, to create a tube.
Attach sleeved to cloak but inserting them into the hole and over casting the two pieces together.
Roll end of sleeve back up the arm, increase row should be approximately where it folds.

Work as pattern instructs.

I only had 1 cm black buttons, but I think they worked well. To give him a little more definition in the eye, I sewed an upper and lower lid, by stitching each side of the button, creating a long thread which ran across the eye, and then securing the strand (couching might be the correct term) a couple of times into the face until it was secure, then repeating this until it looked about right, it was not a precise art. but it does give the option of tucking the buttons behind the lids, to close his eyes a little  you know when using 'his hand'.

So there you have it, my tinkered with version of 'The Child' just in time for Star Wars Day, The pattern is a lovely one to work with, hats off to Kim for creating it! I think he has turned out very cute indeed and I know I will struggle to part with him - however I have plenty of yarn left so I will start on my own version very soon!

I hope wherever you are in the world that you are safe and well and are able to enjoy a little bit of escapism today, no matter what galaxy you choose to find it in!

Wendy x

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Monthly Meanderings - March 2020

So, then there was march 2020, and what a month that would turn out to be! If anyone had told me at the beginning of March what would be happening by the end I would have though they were bonkers.

- Plants, Pharos & Panic Buying -
So I started my March vlog on a bright sunny day preparing for a trip down to London with my family. Corona Virus was very much in the news at the time, but the governments advice was, as long as you wash your hands as often as humanly possible and don't touch your face, it was safe to travel around as before.
Benn & James at Kew // Greenery at Kew // Dad and mum on the tube //
Pharos tomb tresures // My wonderful friend Alan // Beautiful Mosaic at Chingford STN
Then there was a comedy of errors involving a early morning incident on the main drag in to Hinckley, which meant that we couldn't get the bus to the station and so we missed our train, even after ordering a taxi which didn't show up (I tried six companies before one agreed to even try, Uber is not a thing round here). So rather than spend another £90 on replacement tickets we resorted to driving down. I was already hesitant about our trip, I don't need much to set my panic sensors blazing and the news had been seeing to that, so the extra stress of missed trains, I will confess to have been anxious as hell! I didn't convey any of this in my video.

Despite it all we had a wonderful few days first visiting Kew Gardens for my little brothers birthday and then on to Tutankhamun Exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery and V&A on Sunday. On Monday before heading home. we made a little detour to Walthamstow for some fabric shopping and for Benn to taste the delights of 'Pie & Mash' in the wonderful victorian L Manze, a true Cockney must.

The trip was wonderful and turned out to be a very poignant way to start the month, as merely two weeks later and we were about to enter an unprecedented time of restrictions to our movements here in the UK in the form of the governments Lockdown. I am so grateful that I was able to see some of my friends and my family just before it all began in ernest, and also for having this video to look at to remember the happy times as well as the monumental things that happened in March. Stay safe and stay at home!

Wendy x